The Facts about Medical Malpractice Lawsuits in America
Medical malpractice lawsuits have been on the rise for some time in America. Surgeons, non-surgeons and many other types of medical personnel are sued regularly. Malpractice insurance rates for medical professionals are sky-high. And, when a jury awards a courtroom victory to a plaintiff in a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit, the judgment can be astronomical … absolutely “through the roof.”
Costly, out-of-control judgments awarded by juries to plaintiffs in Medical Malpractice Lawsuits are one of the primary reasons that health care costs in America have been spiraling out of control. It stands to reason. If a surgeon loses a case before a jury and the jurors award the winning plaintiff one hundred million dollars (no longer considered an outrageous award) the results of a judgment like that are going to be reflected in the considerably higher cost of health care.
For many years now, some politicians in Congress have been trying to put a legal cap on jury awards to plaintiffs in Medical Malpractice Lawsuits. It hasn’t been easy to accomplish and, in fact, these lawmakers have been unsuccessful. There are two reasons for this failure: (1) professional lawyers are a powerful lobby in Washington and in the Halls of Congress. They have many allies among elected members of the Democratic Party and, as such, have been able to successfully block legislation that would cap jury awards. (2) Juries tend to side with the plaintiffs in Medical Malpractice Lawsuits and “feel sorry for them,” often, awarding them incredibly huge awards because they’ve suffered permanent disability at the hands of a surgeon or some other medical professional.
By definition, a Malpractice Lawsuit can occur as a result of any act or failure to act by a health care professional that diminishes the accepted standards or services of the medical community. That’s the accepted legal definition of Medical Malpractice and the words that produce seemingly countless lawsuits in courtrooms all over the United States.
And yet, Malpractice Lawsuits could easily cease being a problem in America and an imposing financial burden on the backs of all its citizens. If “caps” were established, it’s reasonable to believe that the cost of health care in the country would come down … perhaps dramatically. And if costs came down, premiums could be reduced, as well.
Obviously, if those things happened, health insurance and health care would become much, much more affordable for all Americans. But, it hasn’t happened yet … and it may never happen. Of course, if health care costs continue to rise and health insurance premiums follow suit, pressure from ordinary citizens on the politicians who are supposed to represent them may become unbearable.
And when politicians feel “heat” from their constituents, they react … fast. It may be little more than a “pipe dream” at this time, but it may also be a dream that can become a reality at some point in the not-too-distant future. Who know … maybe the change will come sooner rather than later.
If it does, it will benefit all Americans.